New Brunswick

Beersville family lives without water, refrigeration after NB Power cuts electricity

Edna Flanagan and her son Raymond Kaye have been in the dark since May 30, after their power was cut due to safety concerns over an old power mast.

After being without power since May 30, NB Power asked Flanagan to wait for another 12 to 20 days

Edna Flanagan and her son Raymond Kaye have been in the dark since May 30, after their power was cut due to safety concerns over a damaged electric mast. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

A broken meter has turned into a nightmare for one Beersville family, who's been without electricity for weeks.

Edna Flanagan and her son Raymond Kaye have been in the dark since May 30, after their power was cut due to safety concerns over a damaged electric mast.

But even after bringing their equipment back up to code, NB Power said it could take another 12 to 20 days before their lights come back on. 

The mother and son have been bringing water to their home in pails from their neighbour. They use a wood stove to heat their home at night. 

"I don't understand why they didn't want to hook it up," said Flanagan. "They told us it will be about two weeks before they can hook it up again." 

Sparking power mast

Flanagan said the problems started when her power had to be cut because the power mast on her home started "sparking."

The 69-year-old was told her electrical equipment would have to be replaced before power could be restored.

Flanagan said she hired a licensed electrician to replace the mast, install a new breaker box and rewire all the equipment. But NB Power continued to make her wait. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

She since hired a licensed electrician to replace the mast, install a new breaker box and rewire all the equipment. But NB Power continued to make her wait.

"First they told me it will be at least two weeks, then they told me I need another permit," said Flanagan.

"I've paid all my bills and this would be easier if I was younger, but I can't be hauling water from the neighbours." 

No refrigeration

Flanagan's son, Raymond Kaye, said it's difficult for him to live in the home without electricity because he suffers from Crohn's disease.

"I have to have special foods. I have to blend my peas up and puree them," he said, pointing at their empty, warm fridge.

"I've got to have yogurt and stuff and if you put that here it just spoils, and quick. And chicken and stuff doesn't last. So I've been living on rice and canned fish, which isn't good." 

 
Flanagan's son, Raymond Kaye, said it's difficult for him to live at the home without electricity because he suffers from Crohn's disease. (Shane Fowler/CBC)

When CBC News contacted NB Power, the company stated it could not speak specifically about customer situations.

Spokesperson Marie-Andrée Bolduc wrote in an email that "in situations where barriers exist to making the necessary repairs, we can work with the customer and service agencies to support the work being completed."

"Rest assured that we work closely with our customers to ensure their concerns are addressed and reconnections can happen as quickly and safely as possible," she said.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story stated Edna's last name was Ferguson. In fact, her last name is Flanagan.
    Jun 13, 2017 12:50 PM AT

About the Author

Shane Fowler

Reporter

Shane Fowler has been a CBC journalist based in Fredericton since 2013.